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I find this a tad frightening . . . . .

 
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Maggie AAR
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:28 am    Post subject: I find this a tad frightening . . . . . Reply with quote

Students lie, cheat, steal, but say they're good
By DAVID CRARY, AP National Writer David Crary, Ap National Writer Sun Nov 30, 4:27 pm ET

NEW YORK In the past year, 30 percent of U.S. high school students have stolen from a store and 64 percent have cheated on a test, according to a new, large-scale survey suggesting that Americans are too apathetic about ethical standards.

Educators reacting to the findings questioned any suggestion that today's young people are less honest than previous generations, but several agreed that intensified pressures are prompting many students to cut corners.

"The competition is greater, the pressures on kids have increased dramatically," said Mel Riddle of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. "They have opportunities their predecessors didn't have (to cheat). The temptation is greater."

The Josephson Institute, a Los Angeles-based ethics institute, surveyed 29,760 students at 100 randomly selected high schools nationwide, both public and private. All students in the selected schools were given the survey in class; their anonymity was assured.

Michael Josephson, the institute's founder and president, said he was most dismayed by the findings about theft. The survey found that 35 percent of boys and 26 percent of girls 30 percent overall acknowledged stealing from a store within the past year. One-fifth said they stole something from a friend; 23 percent said they stole something from a parent or other relative.

"What is the social cost of that not to mention the implication for the next generation of mortgage brokers?" Josephson remarked in an interview. "In a society drenched with cynicism, young people can look at it and say 'Why shouldn't we? Everyone else does it.'"

Other findings from the survey:

_Cheating in school is rampant and getting worse. Sixty-four percent of students cheated on a test in the past year and 38 percent did so two or more times, up from 60 percent and 35 percent in a 2006 survey.

_Thirty-six percent said they used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment, up from 33 percent in 2004.

_Forty-two percent said they sometimes lie to save money 49 percent of the boys and 36 percent of the girls.

Despite such responses, 93 percent of the students said they were satisfied with their personal ethics and character, and 77 percent affirmed that "when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know."

Nijmie Dzurinko, executive director of the Philadelphia Student Union, said the findings were not at all reflective of the inner-city students she works with as an advocate for better curriculum and school funding.

"A lot of people like to blame society's problems on young people, without recognizing that young people aren't making the decisions about what's happening in society," said Dzurinko, 32. "They're very easy to scapegoat."

Peter Anderson, principal of Andover High School in Andover, Mass., said he and his colleagues had detected very little cheating on tests or Internet-based plagiarism. He has, however, noticed an uptick in students sharing homework in unauthorized ways.

"This generation is leading incredibly busy lives involved in athletics, clubs, so many with part-time jobs, and for seniors an incredibly demanding and anxiety-producing college search," he offered as an explanation.

Riddle, who for four decades was a high school teacher and principal in northern Virginia, agreed that more pressure could lead to more cheating, yet spoke in defense of today's students.

"I would take these students over other generations," he said. "I found them to be more responsive, more rewarding to work with, more appreciative of support that adults give them.

"We have to create situations where it's easy for kids to do the right things," he added. "We need to create classrooms where learning takes on more importance than having the right answer."

On Long Island, an alliance of school superintendents and college presidents recently embarked on a campaign to draw attention to academic integrity problems and to crack down on plagiarism and cheating.

Roberta Gerold, superintendent of the Middle Country School District and a leader of the campaign, said parents and school officials need to be more diligent for example, emphasizing to students the distinctions between original and borrowed work.

"You can reinforce the character trait of integrity," she said. "We overload kids these days, and they look for ways to survive. ... It's a flaw in our system that whatever we are doing as educators allows this to continue."

Josephson contended that most Americans are too blase about ethical shortcomings among young people and in society at large.

"Adults are not taking this very seriously," he said. "The schools are not doing even the most moderate thing. ... They don't want to know. There's a pervasive apathy."

Josephson also addressed the argument that today's youth are no less honest than their predecessors.

"In the end, the question is not whether things are worse, but whether they are bad enough to mobilize concern and concerted action," he said.

"What we need to learn from these survey results is that our moral infrastructure is unsound and in serious need of repair. This is not a time to lament and whine but to take thoughtful, positive actions."

___

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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that it is true that some students are under great pressure to get perfect grades. Scholarships are very valuable when going to college and the really perfect students get fantastic scholarships. They are taking a huge risk though in cheating, because if they get caught, it would probably go on their record when applying to colleges. To be truthful, I think students have always cheated, but the methods now are more elaborate. I just wonder what the teachers are doing when they are taking the test. I have to think that the ones watching closely could spot a cheater. At any rate, when they get to college plagiarism is a very serious offense. When my daughter was a Freshman, one of her friends was suspended for a semester fori it, so if they don't learn it in high school, they'd better not be tempted in college.
As for stealing, I'm not as aware of this. I remember when I was 13 and my sister 14 we stole a lipstick from a drug store. We were both scared to death and never did anything like that again. And in college, my husband and I did a Dine and Dash thing. I was petrified and can still feel the fear. I'm not much of a thief. Laughing I'm constantly setting off alarm systems in stores (labels in my clothing...cell phone) and no one has ever chased me down. They just smile and wave at me. Odd. I guess I look very very honest.....I am, but how do they know????
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Niftybergin



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw a news-magazine segment on cheating and they interviewed a high-school honor student -- identity concealed -- who said that everybody he knows cheats, and that he thought it was probably more prevalent among the "good" students than the average or poor students. He said it was because the stakes are so much higher for the "good" students. As Xina mentioned, these kids have their sights set on getting into the right college or getting scholarships, and they'll do whatever it takes to achieve those goals.

The segment I saw was about the Kansas plagiarism thing of a few years back. A teacher wound up resigning her post because she'd failed a number of students for plagiarism and the school board first pressured her to change their grades (after parental protests about the failing grades) and then backed the students and the parents instead of the teacher. One kid defended himself on air by saying he didn't cheat...that plagiarism was copying something word for word, and he hadn't done that. His source material had said something like "The blue-tipped feathers of the bird..." whereas what he wrote for his paper was "The bird had feathers that were blue on the tips." (I'm not giving THE example, just trying to illustrate how very close the wording was, and how it WAS a case of plagiarism.) The parents defended their kids and berated the teacher, saying that the teacher had lost a "teaching opportunity" to explain what plagiarism really is. This statement angered me because teaching is a collaboration: the parents and the teacher all play a role. It can't all be on the teacher. And the "teaching opportunity" that was lost was having the kids suffer the consequences of their poor decisions.

I think "cheating" and "morality" is something kids learn by living life...and absorbing the example set by their parents. If their parents are constantly cutting people off in traffic, for instance, or rushing to grab that last parking place...if Dad is cheating on Mom, or Mom is cheating on Dad...if Mom is keeping it a secret from Dad how much she spends on shopping...if they're stealing cable or just considered themselves lucky when the clerk accidently gave them back too much change...if they cheat on their taxes or lie too often to each other and others...then the kids are going to learn that cheating and dishonest behavior is not only okay, but is pretty much standard operating procedure.
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JaneO



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think "cheating" and "morality" is something kids learn by living life...and absorbing the example set by their parents. If their parents are constantly cutting people off in traffic, for instance, or rushing to grab that last parking place...if Dad is cheating on Mom, or Mom is cheating on Dad...if Mom is keeping it a secret from Dad how much she spends on shopping...if they're stealing cable or just considered themselves lucky when the clerk accidently gave them back too much change...if they cheat on their taxes or lie too often to each other and others...then the kids are going to learn that cheating and dishonest behavior is not only okay, but is pretty much standard operating procedure.


YES!!!

And sooner or later, those kids are going to find out that their actions DO have consequences. Wouldn't it be much better if they learned that now, before the consequences are truly disastrous?
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JaneO wrote:
Quote:
I think "cheating" and "morality" is something kids learn by living life...and absorbing the example set by their parents. If their parents are constantly cutting people off in traffic, for instance, or rushing to grab that last parking place...if Dad is cheating on Mom, or Mom is cheating on Dad...if Mom is keeping it a secret from Dad how much she spends on shopping...if they're stealing cable or just considered themselves lucky when the clerk accidently gave them back too much change...if they cheat on their taxes or lie too often to each other and others...then the kids are going to learn that cheating and dishonest behavior is not only okay, but is pretty much standard operating procedure.


YES!!!

And sooner or later, those kids are going to find out that their actions DO have consequences. Wouldn't it be much better if they learned that now, before the consequences are truly disastrous?




I don't know about the Dad cheating on Mom, but I do know parents who act horribly around their children...driving like they own the road, gossiping about other people. And these same people wonder why their children turn out exactly like them, and then they don't like it. It's not Rocket Science. Children learn what they live.
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